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Frank Kenjockety and Louis Belmont Newell Native American Entertainers collection

Creator:
Newell, Louis Belmont  Search this
Kenjockety, Frank  Search this
Extent:
2 Linear feet
39 Photographs
Culture:
Cayuga Indians  Search this
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Ephemera
Scrapbooks
Broadsides
Date:
1886-1940
Summary:
The Frank Kenjockety and Louis B. Newell Native American Entertainers collection includes ephemera, documents and photographs from two prominent Native American [entertainers] Frank Kenjockety (Cayuga), also known as "Chief Strong Fox" and Louis Belmont Newell, also known as "Rolling Thunder". Kenjockety's collection contains photographs, ephemera and a small amount of personal records from his career as a circus troupe leader and lecturer from 1909-1940. Newell's collection contains ephemera from his career as a traveling Medicine Man and entertainer including remedy and ointment packaging as well as broadsides and flyers.
Scope and Contents:
The Native American Entertainers collection includes ephemera, documents and photographs from two prominent Native American entertainers, Frank Kenjockety, also known as "Chief Strong Fox" and Louis Belmont Newell, also known as "Rolling Thunder". Kenjockety's collection contains photographs, ephemera and a small amount of personal records from his career as a circus troupe leader and lecturer from 1909-1940. Newell's collection contains ephemera from his career as a traveling Medicine Man and entertainer from the 1880's until the 1930's. This includes remedy and ointment packaging as well as broadsides and flyers.
Arrangement:
This collection is arranged in two series; Series 1: Frank Kenjockety "Chief Strong Fox", and Series 2: Louis Belmont Newell "Chief Rolling Thunder". Series 1 contains three subseries by material type and is arranged alphabetically.
Biographical / Historical:
This collection of Native American Entertainers materials was put together by Crown Collectibles, a privately held historical research company based out of Richmond Virginia.

Frank Kenjockety was born in 1871 to Jesse and Sarah Kenjockety on Cattaraugus Territory, Seneca Nation and made his home in Salamanca, New York. He was head of the Cayuga Tribe of the Iroquois Federation. In the early 1900's he formed a vaudeville troupe called "Kenjockety' s Hippodrome and Wild West Show". They traveled by train and played at state fairs, carnivals and with other traveling circuses. In the late 1920's Frank Kenjockety took the name "Chief Strong Fox". He became nationally known as an "Indian Chief Lecturer" and his troupe was billed as "Real American Indians in Costume- Direct from the U.S. Government Indian Reservation". Their performances included "Ceremonial Rites, Singing, War Dance, Medicine Dance, Feather Dance, Prayer Song, Famous Adoption Form and lectures on the part the American Indian had played in the history of the United States". Kenjockety's wife, Leona, and daughter, Mabel, also traveled as performers with the troupe. Mabel first appeared on horseback as a child and went on to become a trick rider. While on tour in December 1915, the train on which they were traveling ran head-on into another train that was mistakenly switched on the same track. Mr. Kenjockety survived, but many in his company perished. Undaunted by the tragedy, he rebuilt his company and continued to perform. He and his troupe continued to play fairs, school assemblies and circuses and went on at least two world tours. In 1937, they traveled on the steamer ship "Bremen". Correspondence in 1941 reveals that their popularity had waned and apparently the troupe disbanded around that time. Chief Strong Fox was also well known for the "lectures" he gave on Native American History. He became popular with school and other groups (Rotary Club, etc.) throughout New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland, and often "adopted" some of his Caucasian audience as members of his tribe. He received many letters from school officials praising his talks on Indian history and customs to be of"educational value". Kenjockety passed away in 1944.

Known to his family as Belmont and to the public as Chief Rolling Thunder, Louis Belmont Newell was born around 1858 to Thomas Newell and Marie Parsons of Indian Island, Old Town, Maine. Newell appears to have married several times and his first daughter Blanche was born to Victoria Tahamont around 1886. It is around this time that Newell is first referred to as Chief Rolling Thunder and that his company, the Kiowa Medicine Company, begins touring. The show was comprised of "moral" entertainment and lectures given on the customs, habits, manners and religion of tribes. Newell would also sell "traditional Kiowa" medicines and give out health guides. It is uncertain when the company was actually formed and though Newell claimed that he was a descendent of the First Chief Medicine Man of the Kiowa Nation, Teet-Toot-Sah, this was most likely just for his public image. It is much more likely that his parents were Penobscots from Maine. Newell married Louisa Stump of Iroquois descent in 1891. Louisa was an expert shot and travelled with the Kiowa Medicine Company for some time. In 1894, Newell married his fourth wife Jeanne "Jennie" Congleton who served as business manager for the Kiowa Medicine and Vaudeville Company for many years. Newell died December 1, 1933 and was buried in Randolph, NY. More information on L.B. Newell has been compiled by descendants of Newell and can be found on Ne-Do-Ba, a geneological website for the Wabanaki people.
Separated Materials:
Along with the archival materials, five additional objects were purchased and are a part of the NMAI Ethnology collection. They have catalog numbers 26/5414 through 26/5418 and include outfits supposedly worn by Frank Kenjockety "Chief Strong Fox" and his wife Leona Kenjockety.
All of the photographs in this collection are located in cool storage and arranged in folders by their catalog numbers.
Provenance:
This collection was purchased in 2005.
Restrictions:
Access to NMAI Archive Center collections is by appointment only, Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment (phone: 301-238-1400, email: nmaiarchives@si.edu).
Rights:
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish or broadbast materials from the collection must be requested from National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center. Please submit a written request to nmaiarchives@si.edu.
Topic:
Circus performers -- Photographs  Search this
Kiowa Indians -- Rites and ceremonies  Search this
Traveling theater -- United States -- 20th century  Search this
Genre/Form:
Ephemera
Scrapbooks
Broadsides
Photographs
Citation:
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Frank Kenjockety and Louis B. Newell Native American Entertainers collection, Box and Folder Number; National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAI.AC.025
See more items in:
Frank Kenjockety and Louis Belmont Newell Native American Entertainers collection
Archival Repository:
National Museum of the American Indian
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmai-ac-025
Online Media:

Cradleboard

Culture/People:
Cayuga [Six Nations/Grand River (Brantford, Ontario)]  Search this
Collector:
Joseph W. Keppler (Udo Keppler/Gyantwaka), Non-Indian, 1872-1956  Search this
Seller:
Joseph W. Keppler (Udo Keppler/Gyantwaka), Non-Indian, 1872-1956  Search this
Object Name:
Cradleboard
Media/Materials:
Wood
Techniques:
Incised
Object Type:
Transportation Items: Baby carriers
Place:
Six Nations Grand River Reserve; Brant County, Haldimand County; Ontario; Canada
Catalog Number:
1/1242
Barcode:
011242.000
See related items:
Cayuga [Six Nations/Grand River (Brantford, Ontario)]
Transportation Items: Baby carriers
Data Source:
National Museum of the American Indian
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:NMAI_12055
Online Media:

Cradleboard and wrapper

Culture/People:
Cayuga [Six Nations/Grand River (Brantford, Ontario)]  Search this
Previous owner:
Ellen General (Mrs. Jacob General), Cayuga [Six Nations/Grand River (Brantford, Ontario)]  Search this
Collector:
Mark Raymond Harrington (M. R. Harrington/MRH), Non-Indian, 1882-1971  Search this
Seller:
Covert & Harrington, Commercial Ethnologists  Search this
Object Name:
Cradleboard and wrapper
Media/Materials:
Wood, wool cloth, cotton tape, thread, glass bead/beads
Techniques:
Carved, bent, sewn, overlay beadwork
Object Type:
Transportation Items: Baby carriers
Place:
Six Nations Grand River Reserve; Brant County, Haldimand County; Ontario; Canada
Date created:
1870-1890
Catalog Number:
1/4601
Barcode:
014601.000
See related items:
Cayuga [Six Nations/Grand River (Brantford, Ontario)]
Transportation Items: Baby carriers
Data Source:
National Museum of the American Indian
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:NMAI_15698
Online Media:

Cradleboard and wrapper

Culture/People:
Cayuga [Six Nations/Grand River (Brantford, Ontario)]  Search this
Previous owner:
Maggie Williams, Cayuga [Six Nations/Grand River (Brantford, Ontario)]  Search this
Collector:
Mark Raymond Harrington (M. R. Harrington/MRH), Non-Indian, 1882-1971  Search this
Seller:
Covert & Harrington, Commercial Ethnologists  Search this
Object Name:
Cradleboard and wrapper
Media/Materials:
Wood, wool cloth, ribbon
Techniques:
Carved, cutout, incised, sewn
Object Type:
Transportation Items: Baby carriers
Native Term:
ga ho'n shra
Place:
Six Nations Grand River Reserve; Brant County, Haldimand County; Ontario; Canada
Date created:
1870-1890
Catalog Number:
1/4602
Barcode:
014602.000
See related items:
Cayuga [Six Nations/Grand River (Brantford, Ontario)]
Transportation Items: Baby carriers
Data Source:
National Museum of the American Indian
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:NMAI_15699
Online Media:

Cradleboard

Culture/People:
Cayuga  Search this
Previous owner:
Joseph W. Keppler (Udo Keppler/Gyantwaka), Non-Indian, 1872-1956  Search this
Seller:
Joseph W. Keppler (Udo Keppler/Gyantwaka), Non-Indian, 1872-1956  Search this
Object Name:
Cradleboard
Media/Materials:
Wood
Techniques:
Incised, painted
Object Type:
Transportation Items: Baby carriers
Place:
New York; USA (inferred)
Catalog Number:
2/9541
Barcode:
029541.000
See related items:
Cayuga
Transportation Items: Baby carriers
Data Source:
National Museum of the American Indian
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:NMAI_30533
Online Media:

Mrs (Olive?) Fenton and Child (Non-Natives) with Simeon Gibson and his Two Children Outside Log House 13 AUG 1939

Creator:
Fenton, William Nelson  Search this
Physical description:
1 photoprint 003 in x 004 in
Culture:
Iroquois Seneca (identification uncertain)  Search this
Iroquois Cayuga  Search this
Indians of North America Northeast  Search this
Cayuga Indians  Search this
Seneca Indians  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Date:
1939
13 AUG 1939
Local number:
NAA INV 00762504
NAA MS 4413
See more items in:
Photographs of American Indians and Other Subjects 1840s-1960s
Data Source:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_arc_24686

Mrs (Olive?) Fenton and Child (Non-Natives) with Simeon Gibson and his Two Children Outside Log House 13 AUG 1939

Creator:
Fenton, William Nelson  Search this
Physical description:
1 photoprint 004 in x 003 in
Culture:
Iroquois Seneca (identification uncertain)  Search this
Iroquois Cayuga  Search this
Indians of North America Northeast  Search this
Cayuga Indians  Search this
Seneca Indians  Search this
Type:
Photographs
Date:
1939
13 AUG 1939
Local number:
NAA INV 00762601
NAA MS 4413
See more items in:
Photographs of American Indians and Other Subjects 1840s-1960s
Data Source:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_arc_24687

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